Have you ever wondered, whether you can make cheese at home?
Well, I did and after a visit to several working farms in Kent, watching re-runs of Victorian Farm on BBC2 and our favourite cheese place going out of business, I decided I will have a go myself.<blog_break>
So, here is what I did (and if you have a spare 30 minutes, you really can make your own cheese too!)
This is what you need to make your own cheese:
- 1 ltr Milk (any will do, but best is to get one that's 'raw' e.i. not homogenised or pasteurised)
- 2-3 table spoons of vinegar (or lemon juice - up to 6 table spoons) - I used White wine Vinegar, which has a lovely mellow taste
- salt - table salt is best to start off with
- Any other flavouring that you want to add to your cheese
- large pan
- muslin cloth (or similar - sterilised gauze or tea towel)
- large bowl
This is what you do:
Heat the milk gently up to 38 C. Take it off heat and add vinegar (or lemon), stir and leave for a bit.
You will see that in a few moments the milk curdles and separates.
Then you just pour it on to a muslin cloth resting in a colander and bowl and twist the muslin cloth to squeeze the liquid. Leave it for 30 min or up to 1 hr - either hanged over the side of the bowl or somewhere where the water can still safely drip down.
The next bit is just to add some salt (to taste) and mix in any other flavouring that you want to add. I added garlic chives from my herb garden to mine cheese, which gave it just the right flavour. 1 ltr of milk will give you about 200g of cheese.
The cheese will last up to 1 week in a fridge (keep in airtight container), but ours never does - we just eat it straightaway! I hope this recipe is simple enough for anyone to re-create and I love to hear how you got on making your own soft cheese!
Until the next time...